I first learned how to make paratha/roti in September 2020 and I posted it on our other site, HearthandHomeBuddies.com. Since then I have learned how to make it better and I have definitely improved my technique.
My observations when making paratha
Atta or regular wheat flour? Can we use either?
Using the right flour matters. This affects the outcome of the paratha in terms of texture and taste. I’ve tried making this with atta (Indian wheat flour) and regular wheat flour.
- Atta is finer and softer while regular wheat flour is grainy and rough.
- Atta is slightly more expensive by just 5 pesos more per kilo, but that price difference also translates to a better end product so who am I to quibble over cost? 🙂
- Atta results in a softer, more malleable dough, and softer bread.
- Atta needs exactly half the quantity of flour. For example, if you use 1 cup of flour, then you will need exactly half a cup of water. With regular wheat flour, it is hit and miss.
The good news is, there are many middle eastern stores popping up all over town so atta can easily be sourced.
Is water temperature important?
From experience, I can tell you that room temperature to lukewarm water works best. While hot water will activate the gluten faster, the reality is, if the water is too hot then you can’t hold the dough with your bare hands, what more knead it.
Is there a specific oil to use?
I would say use a neutral oil. The original recipe said to use olive oil but not everyone enjoys the aftertaste of olive oil. You can also use ghee as an alternative. In case you were wondering, ghee is clarified butter.
The original recipe did not have any sugar, but I have found that adding a little sweetness makes the paratha yummier. 🙂
Here is my “improved” recipe. I hope you like it!
- large bowl
- chopping board or rolling mat
- Rolling Pin
- hot plate or a flat pan
- flipper or spatula
- 2 cups Atta (wheat flour) additional flour for dusting
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsps oil
- 1 cup water
- In a large bowl mix the atta, salt, garam masala, and sugar. Add the oil and mix again, making sure that the oil is well incorporated.
- Add the water a little at a time while mixing until you use up all the water. As you mix it will become a tacky dough. Knead the dough for a few minutes and add a little flour for dusting, just enough to make the dough a little less sticky/tacky. As you knead the dough it will become less tacky and will become a soft dough ball. This means that it is soft but won't stick to your hand.
- Tuck the dough underneath and roll it in your hands to form a ball. Dust the ball all over with flour and then let it rest in the bowl for 10 minutes covered.
- On your chopping board or rolling mat, divide the dough ball into 6 equal parts. If you want smaller pieces just divide the dough into more parts.
- Take 1 part and dust it and roll it into a ball ... flatten into a disk on the chopping board with your palm and dust again.
- Take your rolling pin and flatten the small dough into a bigger disk. If the rolling pin starts to stick add a dusting of clour. Try to roll the dough out as evenly as possible, and not too thinly or the dough will rip when you lift it and the paratha will become too tough and will not be edible. You want the end product to be puffy and soft.
- Place your pan or flat hot plate on the stove and put it on medium heat. Hover your hand over the plate to test the heat but if that frightens you when you think it might be hot enough, put a drop of two of water on the pan. If the water turns into a bead and starts to dance on the pan, then it is hot enough, otherwise, you will have to wait a few more seconds then test again.
- Once the pan is hot enough pick up your rolled-out dough carefully and shake out any loose flour by flipping it from hand to hand. Place the dough on the pan with the rolled side face down.
- If your pan is heated correctly you will see your dough start to turn a darker shade and it will start to bubble and puff. Give it about 30 seconds then carefully flip the dough using your flipper/spatula. The dough will balloon a little more.
- Give it another 30 seconds then flip it again. Press down on any part of the paratha that you see steam coming out or even just one side. This will help the paratha puff up even more. Flip it again and do the same on the other side. Your goal at this point is to brown the paratha and puff it up more. You want it to have brown spots but not get burned.
- If it gets slightly burnt and a hole appears, not to worry. Just press down on the hole with your spatula and the hole will seal up. This will also puff up your paratha more.
- Repeat this with the remaining dough. Your paratha is now ready to eat!
If you try this recipe, please make sure to tag me on social media @slvrdlphn and use the hashtag #slvrdlphnrecipes. Let me know, too, if you come up with a tweak that would make this dish different but still delicious!